Passata | Dani Valent

Passata

Late summer and early autumn mean beautiful tomatoes and I buy, eat, cook and preserve them like crazy!

This video is different to most of my others, shot on the fly by my daughter at home and my husband at St Kilda Farmers’ Market. Hope you enjoy the fly-on-the-wall nature of this video and forgive the glimpses of undone dishes and kitchen clutter!

My version of tomato passata is very simple, which is as it should be, because it’s all about the tomatoes. Choose ripe – even slightly over-ripe – tomatoes bursting with flavour. The seeds and skin are traditionally left out of passata but I leave them in because – well, I’ve got a Thermomix. This results in a lighter, brighter coloured sauce than you might be used to.

The Italian tradition is to spend a day together making passata. I tend to have a box or two of tomatoes on the go and keep making batches in amongst everything else I’m doing.

Passata is basically a simple tomato soup so you can always have it for a meal all by itself. It’s also perfect in my Spaghetti Bolognese or spooned over amazing gluten-free Gnocchi. And I’ve got another cheeky idea! Use it in my Creamy Tomato and Vodka Pasta Sauce.

Makes: about 1.8L.
Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 100 grams onion, peeled (approx ½ large brown onion)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 30 grams olive oil
  • approx. 1.5 kilograms ripe tomatoes
  • a few basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

Method

1. Place onion and garlic into mixing bowl and chop 2 sec/speed 5. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl with spatula.

2. Add olive oil. Cook 4 min/Varoma/speed 1.

3. Add 1 kilogram tomatoes, whole if small and halved if large. Chop 7 sec/speed 7.

4. Add another 500 grams tomatoes, ensuring tomatoes don’t reach above maximum level of mixing bowl. Chop 7 sec/speed 7.

5. Add basil leaves and salt. Cook 20 min/100°C/speed 1. Blend 1 min/speed 10, turning slowly from speed 1 to speed 10.

Pour into sterilised jars to preserve or use straight away as soup or sauce.

Tips

  • To sterilise jars, wash glass jars and metal lids in hot, soapy water. Rinse in hot water, then dry in a 110°C oven. Fill while hot, wipe rim with a wet paper towel, then seal lid. There is nothing more satisfying than hearing the little pop of the suction cap as it cools.
  • When properly sealed and sterilised your passata will keep for a year or more. I use it as an easy soup (add a drizzle of cream and chopped parsley), a pasta sauce and add it to stews and casseroles.

More tomatoes!

My top tomato uses are sandwiches, crackers, summery soups (hot and cold) and, of course, salads. I also love all the tomato recipes on the site:

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